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What Are We to Make of the Court’s Deliberations in Dobbs?

December 9th, 2021

The Left has begun to tumble to the real possibility that the US Supreme Court is on the verge of overturning Roe. Their agents in the MSM have begun publishing articles ranging from the grossly ill-informed to the mildly propagandistic in quality.

We join many in the pro-Life community in nurturing hope that justice for preborn children, at least for those living in pro-Life states, may be on the horizon. We say that, knowing that conservatives have been repeatedly disappointed with the Court. Attorneys we have consulted over the past year are largely in agreement that there is little reason for the Court to have accepted the Dobbs case unless it planned decisive action in defense of preborn children.  Our hopes are not, then, without foundation.

The stakes could not be bigger, and pro-Lifers need to take our duty to pray for the members of the Court very seriously.

But we have been here before. There was increasing tension back in 1992 when the Court last considered the fundamental issues involved in creating a “constitutional right” to kill one’s preborn child. Sandra Day O’Connor was once seen as the crucial pro-Life addition to the Court; hopes rose that the Casey decision would restore basic decency to American society. But, alas, the justices blinked. Rumors and books have circulated since that momentous day describing the deliberations and cold-blooded poker being played within the Court’s chambers. O’Connor was persuaded to craft a “compromise” opinion in which the Court would restructure Roe and allow greater authority to the states.  And, indeed, we did gain some latitude to work.  Just not enough.  And certainly, the raw injustice of slaughtering preborn children remains O’Connor’s legacy.

Our hope, therefore, is constrained by that history.

Yet hope remains. The Court has made it clear that it has taken up just one central question in the Dobbs case: whether “viability” is a workable legal concept. This is the evil lynch pin of the legal reasoning behind legalized abortion. This idea involves the arbitrary division of human beings into those worthy of care, worthy of recognition … and those who are not. Going back to the days of Roe, the Court has declared that those people who have not reached the point of “viability” can be killed without limitation or need of excuse.  They have not yet earned their claim to belong to the human family.  Those preborn babies in the womb after the magical moment of “viability” can also be killed; but our status as a “civilized society” requires that we offer some kind of excuse. Admittedly, that is a crude way to explain Supreme Court edicts over the years, but it captures the sophistry this institution has indulged in to protect its image while foisting murderous barbarity upon America.

A deep study of the Supreme Court rulings on abortion reveals not just sophistry … but great cynicism.

When the Court first announced that it had discovered a “right” to kill one’s baby in 1973, it no doubt feared that most Americans would be scandalized. To mitigate that shock, to assuage the conscience, it fabricated the notion that it would allow some protections for babies post-viability.  Not all babies would be slaughtered, the Court cynically assured: We are not, after all, a nation of barbarians.

Many states took the Court seriously. They began passing legislation to restrict or even ban abortions after the point of “viability.”  But over the years, the Supreme Court rejected every such attempt. In fact, it resisted any attempt to create a hard legal definition of what it meant by “viability.” 

Thus, the concept of “viability” continues to be meaningless. The fact is, it is legal to kill any baby in America for any reason up to the point of live birth.  The first real prohibition on abortion came through litigation around Partial Birth Abortion. Finally, there was an end point.  Unfortunately, that was only a relief for those babies able to fight their way into the birth canal. The rest have been out of luck for forty-eight years.

We can now appreciate with greater clarity why this Dobbs case, and the Court’s reconsideration of the central tenet of “viability,” could be the great game changer for preborn babies.

Idaho Chooses Life is greatly humbled by the fact that the Lord created an opportunity for us to directly participate in this historic case.  In partnership with the Catholic Medical Association, the National Association of Catholic Nurses and the Texas Alliance for Life, we were able to retain the services of Ms. Maura Quinlan to represent us before the Supreme Court.  She has written and filed an amicus brief on our behalf which brilliantly dissects the poverty of the Court’s previous edicts on “viability”.  Her reasoning is sharp; her writing is powerful. It is hard to imagine how an intellectually honest jurist could read her brief and come to any conclusion other than that this absurd and arbitrary notion of “viability” must be scrapped. Roe itself must be abandoned; America must be freed to repent of this great national sin.

In its place we must again enshrine the simple fact that a person is a person, no matter how small.

But let us address the central challenge you, the reader, must accept:  This matter of abortion has never been about intellectual arguments or science.  It is a weak canard to hide behind the notion that “science” has led us to a deeper understanding of human development.  While that may be true, it has nothing to do with abortion.  Our ancestors were never confused about where babies came from, or the fact that they were human.

No, friend, this issue has always been spiritual in nature.  It is, obviously, a matter of the greatest evil. We must realize, therefore, that the spiritual warfare raging around these nine members of the Court is incredible.  This, we believe, is the real explanation for the Court’s failure of courage in 1992 – the last time legalized abortion was seriously considered.  Our job now is to be ceaseless in prayer on behalf of those justices with a conscience.  We all must beseech the Almighty to grant them clarity of mind and courage of heart to defend the helpless victims of abortion.  Only with His help can they face the storm.

This may be our last chance.